Niina Niini

Meaningful work securing the legal protection of citizens

Niina Niini is a district court secretary at the criminal department of Helsinki District Court. After six years on the job, her everyday assignments mostly run on routine, but the work still feels important and meaningful, because she gets to work the legal protection of citizens. Niini is fond of criminal matters and cases, even to the extent that she likes to read detective stories on her time off.

The work of a district court secretary includes various assignments relating to civil, criminal and petitionary matters as well as coersive measures cases. District court secretaries working at the criminal department all share the same assignments. Basically the work consists of holding the threads and maintaining the contact with all involved parties during the whole legal process. The practical work, however, consists of numerous responsibilities, including various arrangement tasks, e.g. writing summons, record keeping at hearings and archiving documents, as well as many other tasks before, during and after the trial. A major factor in the work of a district court secretary working with criminal matters is that the work is based on intensive partnership with the district judge, where the partners agree on the details regarding the distribution of work.

”While we work with serious matters, the work itself is very interesting. The most frustrating part is when a defendant, i.e. the alleged offender, fails to appear in court. When that happens, and we have to cancel the hearing, all the preparatory work is in vain and I have to start preparing the session day from scratch.”

According to Niini, the work of a district court secretary therefore requires the ability to manage stress, pressure and changing situations. Coping with the job also requires precision and thoroughness: ”A district court secretary needs to care about the meaning and outcome of each assignment. ”A good education is also important. Niini has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Laurea University of Applied Sciences where she specialised in law: ”My studies gave me a wide general view of the legal process.” She is also thankful for the experience she got from her practical training placement within the judicial administration.